Daniil Medvedev finally got his hands on a Grand Slam trophy on Sunday, when he beat history-seeker Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the 2021 US Open final. The Russian won his maiden Major title at the third time of asking, in the process denying Djokovic a record-breaking 21st Slam.
During his post-match press conference, Medvedev talked about how a first time for anything is "special". He said he was very happy to bag his first Grand Slam title and that since he doesn't have anything planned in the immediate future, he would spend the next few days celebrating his monumental win.
"Everything that happens for the first time is special," Medvedev said. "When I won my first junior tournament, it meant a lot to me. When I won my first future, I was happy. That's my first Grand Slam. I don't know how I'm going to feel if I win a second one or third one. That's my first one, so I'm really happy. Means a lot to me."
"I don't have anything coming in soon future, so I know how to celebrate," he added. "Russians know how to celebrate. Hopefully I will not get in the news. If I get, it's going to be in a good way. But I'm going to definitely celebrate the next few days."
Daniil Medvedev also talked about his emotions while serving for the match in the third set. The Russian lost serve for the only time in the contest at 5-2, looking visibly rattled by the occasion and the crowd. But he collected his nerves to win his next service game with an ace on his third championship point, after having squandered the first two with double faults.
"It was definitely tough," the Russian said when asked about the effect of the crowd cheering for Djokovic. "I knew that the only thing I can do is focus. Never know what would happen if it would be 5-All, if I would start to get crazy or whatever. But, yeah, I definitely made some double-faults because of it [the crowd being partisan towards Djokovic]. That makes it even more sweet that finally I managed to pass a first serve on the third match point."
Daniil Medvedev has also made up some ground on Novak Djokovic in the rankings. But when asked if clinching the No. 1 spot would be his next goal, Medvedev claimed he is happy to have won a Major and that he doesn't think it's realistically possible for him to ascend to the top this year.
"I have Paris and Nitto ATP Finals to defend. Novak, I don't think he has much to defend. I think honestly it's almost impossible," the Russian opined. "Let's hope I win Indian Wells, Bercy and Turin. It's a tough challenge. I'm just happy to win a Major. I'm going to do my best in every tournament I'm playing. That's not my first goal in my mind to try to achieve it this year. If I manage to do it one day, it's great."
"Knowing that I managed to stop him it definitely makes it sweeter" - Daniil Medvedev
After winning the first three Slams of the season, Novak Djokovic was naturally touted by many to complete the 'Calendar Slam' (winning all four Majors in a single year) this fortnight in New York. In that context, Daniil Medvedev admitted to feeling sorry for denying the Serb this feat.
The Russian, who lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final in February, also said beating someone who was 27-0 in Slams for the year made his US Open victory even sweeter and gave him confidence for the future.
"I do feel sorry for Novak because I cannot imagine what he feels," the 25-year-old said. "I don't know this feeling. It definitely makes it sweeter. I mean, a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam."
"For the confidence and for my future career, knowing that I beat somebody who was 27-0 in a year in Grand Slams, I lost to him in Australia, he was going for huge history, and knowing that I managed to stop him it definitely makes it sweeter and brings me confidence for what is to come on hard courts so far, but let's see about other surfaces," he added.